Roland's story

Greenwich Roland Taylor 51 210813 web

I’m a Londoner born and bred. I was brought up here and got used to travelling the streets at quite a young age, after my mum and dad split up. My mum lived on Baker St and I really wanted to be with her rather than my dad and stepmother.

From my teens onwards I loved the music scene in London, I lived with friends in Wimbledon and studied to be chef so I ate for free and my rent was minimal. I was out at gigs every night: seeing Joy Division, The Jam, you name them, I saw them. It seemed only a natural step to get into the music industry and I worked as a distributor for seven years.

I was right there, working for Cargo records when Nirvana burst onto the scene, it was an amazing time.

After a while I moved into the publishing industry and carried on with the rock and roll lifestyle – Borders was huge and I went to launches and parties and met and interviewed famous authors. Then the crash happened. Borders folded and I was out of a job, I moved to Hay and Wye and went into business with a friend. We did well selling antiquarian books and working the festival.

I dabbled in the independent record business too, working with another pal from the industry. Unfortunately, he was hiding holes in the company accounts and he did a runner, leaving me to pick up the bill. I returned to London in 2009 but after crashing at friends' houses for a while, I decided to sleep rough rather than outstay my welcome.

I ended up cheffing for the climate camp protesters who were staying on the heath that summer, but after they left I came to Emmaus. Life is OK here. I enjoy the interaction with customers here and soon I’ll get back to work on the vans, I’m just taking a bit of time out after an operation. 

I’m looking at making a film at the moment, I’ve completed a short course while living at Emmaus and I have ideas for a screen play. I do sometimes think about why I didn’t settle in one place, why I didn’t put roots down, but I have no regrets about my life so far, it’s been fun. I’ve made the most of every opportunity and now I’m thinking about where my future will take me.